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Excellent Educator: Redtail Ridge Elementary’s Lucy DesLauriers

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — You know how sometimes you meet someone and you just want to hug them?

That’s what happened when we met this week’s Excellent Educator, Lucy DesLauriers at Redtail Ridge Elementary School in Savage. She is beloved by her students, who call her “Mrs. D.”

DesLauriers is a special education teacher at the school and for more than 30 years, she’s dedicated her life to going above and beyond for her students. That’s why Lucy DesLauriers is this week’s Excellent Educator.

Here’s a letter nomination that led to her selection from a parent of one of her students.

I would like to nominate my son’s special education teacher Mrs. Lucy DesLauriers (Mrs. D) from Redtail Ridge Elementary (Prior Lake). My son Owen who has Down Syndrome is in 2nd grade and has been in Mrs. D program since kindergarten. She is an advocate for him in every way and that is a huge sense of relief for us knowing there is always someone there to make sure our wishes are followed. She gives us a peace of mind and is always open to trying new things to help through different situations.

I wanted to share a specific story that occurred last night at Owen’s 2nd grade music program. They have been practicing for weeks and each day I get communication home about how well he did or didn’t do for that day’s practice. Our biggest goal for the program is for him to just simply stay up on the risers through the whole thing and not fidget with his class mates hair in front of him. They had 2 programs yesterday. One at 3 p.m. and one at 6:30 p.m. The 3 o’clock one he did pretty well, but when he got to the one at 6:30 (when all the parents were there to watch) he made it through just a few songs before escaping the stage and out in the audience he ran to find us. Right behind him was Mrs. D, to try to convince him to try to go back. He wasn’t convinced to go alone so up she went with him and sat right behind him teetering on the edge of the riser platform hidden behind the students. He stood through the rest of the program.

She will do whatever it takes to make her students succeed. And he did it. He didn’t sing a word but he stood up there with his class and he participated. Mrs. D is an amazing educator who has to think outside the box every day to help her students succeed. As a parent of a child with special needs, we are not expecting perfect scores, we just want him to participate and grow from the experiences. There are countless stories just like this going above and beyond her role as a teacher and for that I want to make sure she is recognized and feels appreciated for all that she does for my son and countless other kids.

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